Californication: All Together Now

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Photo: Courtesy of Showtime
Episode Title
The Apartment
Season
3
Episode
8

We’re in Hank Moody’s apartment this week, and if these walls could talk, they’d be yelling at him. Three of the women he’s sleeping with arrive on his doorstep early one morning, along with their husbands, children, stripper buddies, his agent, and Rick Springfield.

First through the front door is Jackie, with two friends and a bottle: “Wanna party?” She announces she’s quit stripping to write, and for him, but he refuses her advances. (This would be noble if he hadn’t just been in bed with Felicia.) Then Jill shows up, naked under a raincoat and soon not wearing one. She announces she’s in love, with fairly minimal provocation. He stashes her in a bedroom as Felicia rings the doorbell. She’s left her husband for him. Stacy is angry at Hank, but also a bit reverential. “You’re a goddamn girl whisperer!” he says, with awe.

Hank is costumed throughout in an adorable powder-blue mini-kimono with cherry blossoms. And as each of the women show up, refusing to take sayonara for an answer, he’s gradually closed in, each exit blocked by another paramour. All this is supposed to set up a French farce of surprise and humor, but we’re left, as is his daughter Becca, with just confusion. It all might have worked if Karen was on her way over to the train wreck, but, without the threat of her imminent discovery, there’s nothing at stake here. Hank has already so exited these relationships in his mind that it’s not funny when each woman wants to change her life for him, it’s pathetic. When Felicia says to him “I can’t stop thinking about it,” it takes him several seconds to even remember that she’s talking about their night together.

With the possible exception of Springfield, playing a horny pig so self-absorbed he’s his own groupie (a Hank to the nth power), there’s not too much funny here. Hank even lectures student Jackie that she should learn from their affair, that he was just a stage she was going through. But he’s the one who’s supposed to be learning from all this: When Hank puts out a fire in his bedroom (subtle much?), the extinguisher is actually at crotch level.

At the end, after they all clear out, Hank tells Becca he doesn’t know how many times he can say he’s sorry before it doesn’t mean anything anymore. Becca predicts that we’re going to find out.

More Recaps:
Danny Gallagher of TV Squad likens the chaos in the apartment to the crowd that packs the Marx Brothers’ stateroom in A Night at the Opera. “Just when you think the room is completely full, someone else comes by to occupy a seat in Hank's theater of embarrassment.”
Josh Gajewski in the L.A. Times lauds Duchovny's skillful handling of the episode's series of "painfully uncomfortable moments" and notes that, by the end of the show, "Hank Moody, suddenly, was the most naked person in the room."